Page 1

Vol 2

Published by: PIA 6, 7 & 8

Issue 9


Philippine Information Agency Director General lawyer Jose A. Fabia (center) holds the Anvil Award trophy which was won by the agency for its sustained information and advocacy activities in support to the government’s anti-drug courier program designed to dissuade Filipinos from falling prey to drug syndicates who use humans to traffic illegal drugs for them. With DG Fabia during the 47th Anvil Awards awarding ceremony held Feb. 24 at the EDSA Shangri-la Manila Hotel in Metro Manila are (from left) PIA regional operations coordinator for Region 7 Danny Role, regional operations coordinator for Regions 6 and 8 Eva Gonzales, PIA6 Regional Director lawyer Ma. Janet C. Mesa, Region 7 Director Minerva Newman, PIA Deputy Director General Virgilio Galvez, and Region 8 Director Erlinda Olivia Tiu. (PIA6)

More on Region 6, pages 2-3. Also CLICK Here…


Feb. 27—Mar. 4, 2012

DA-7 urges Pinoys to take rice with rootcrops by Fayette C. Riñen EBU CITY, Feb. 27 (PIA) -- Pinoys are urged to eat more root crops like kamote, cassava and bananas as substitutes for rice and help the country achieve its aim of “zero rice importation” by 2014. Angel Enriquez, regional technical director of the Department of Agriculture (DA) 7 said their agency is promoting the consumption of food staples such as “kamote,” cassava and banana and eat it with rice. “If we consume more food staples and eat it together with rice, then our need for rice will be lessened,” according to Enriquez. These staples are good substitutes for rice as they are also sources of carbohydrates. On top of that, these staples are nutritious and promote our health, Enriquez stressed. The DA is extending its time target of achieving its zero rice importation by 2014 instead of 2013 although the volume of rice importation this year is much less compared to last year. Rice importation target set by the DA this year is at 500,000 metric tons, which is much less than the 860,000 metric tons imported in 2011. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala earlier said the lower rice import target is in line with the Aquino Administration’s goal of zero rice importation after 2013. Enriquez also called on the public to cook and eat only the substantial amount of rice one needs in order to


prevent wastage. “We should not get more rice if we cannot eat it all. We should discourage leftovers,” Enriquez declared. Likewise, in rinsing rice, we must be careful that when we throw out the water, rice must not be included as well, the DA 7 official bared. Jorge Paculba, DA 7 chief of the crops division on the other hand, lauded the "Saksak" program of Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia. The "Saksak" program encourages the consumption of "kamote" or sweet potatoes with rice. “Cebu is only 3 percent rice sufficient while rice sufficiency level in the region is at 25 percent,” Paculba disclosed. Paculba echoed Enriquez statement that in order to achieve rice sufficiency, we must encourage the consumption of root crops as a substitute to rice. Meanwhile, the DA wants to increase rice production for this year and is promoting the use of quality seeds to improve harvest. Among its other interventions to increase rice production are the expansion of rice areas through the establishment and rehabilitation of irrigation facilities; provision of farm mechanization and post-harvest facilities; establishment of community-based seed-banking scheme to improve usage of quality seeds; strengthening of farmers’ and irrigators’ associations; and pro-active pests and diseases prevention and control. (PIA-Cebu)

PIA-8 kicks off 2012 Women’s Month by launching ‘Entre-Pinay’

Journalists from 10 ASEAN countries taking a tour of the 80.5-acre Infosys headquarters in Bangalore, India as part of the eight-day visit in India under the ASEAN-India Media Exchange Program. Infosys Limited is India's leading global technology company with offices in 29 countries and a workforce of 145,088 composed of 85 nationalities. The tour is led by Balakrishnan Palaniappan (3rd from left, front row), Facilities Manager of Infosys on Feb. 17, 2012. Photo also shows (L-R, front row) Kamal Kamat of ASEAN Secretariat, Rachelle Nessia of Phil. Information Agency and Lily Ramos of Philippine News Agency. (RMN/Photo by Sally Piri of Brunei Times)

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TACLOBAN CITY Leyte, March 1 (PIA) -- The Philippine Information Agency in Eastern Visayas kicked off this year’s Women’s Month celebration by launching the “Entre-Pinay” (short for enterprising Pinay) episode of the Harampang Ha PIA. PIA 8 Director Olive Tiu said this is PIA’s way of helping budding women entrepreneurs promote their products or services and connecting them to government agencies that will assist them. Once a month, from now on, the Harampang Ha PIA will feature an unknown enterprising Filipina, to help her take off in the world of business, Tiu said. In the first Entre-Pinay episode of Harampang Ha PIA weekly interaction, media representatives and practitioners were pleasantly surprised as the venue was turned into a showcase of creative products. There were scented floating candies in the shape of banana, hyacinth, and clover leaf, butterfly, rose, and even sungkaan; decorated bottles and plates, beautiful handmade

DENR to support community-based NGP initiatives by Elsa S. Subong LOILO CITY, Feb. 28 (PIA6) -- Six community-based project concepts in Iloilo are up for approval and cost-sharing with the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The project concepts were products of a writing workshop conducted by the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) with the community-based organizations in the Tigum-Aganan Watershed Area, aimed at producing project proposals that can attract donors. Benjamin Luz, CUI Project Manager said the workshop was facilitated by lawyer Donna Gasconia, former consultant of the United Nations Development Programme, who has expertise on project fund sourcing. Luz said DENR Asst. Secretary Mario Mendoza, who is in-charge of the NGP, will be in Iloilo on March 9 to discuss support details for the project proposals.

I OCD 8 regional director Rey Gozon (left) gives instructions to the members of the rescue teams from the Leyte provincial government, LGU-Palo, BFP, PRC and other volunteer groups who joined the 1st Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill at St. Paul School Business and Law, Inc., Palo, Leyte, March 1. (PIA-8/Vino R. Cuayzon)

More on Region 8, pages 6-7. Also CLICK Here...

costume jewelry which are one of a kind, Tanauan jars made more elegant and unique by putting add-ons which only an artist can imagine, and moist chocolate cakes which the featured Entre-Pinay also baked. Araceli Larraga and Flordeliz Jarancilla of the Department of Trade and Industry were on hand to brief the media and the entre-Pinay on what the agency can do to help. The featured Entre-Pinay was a beautiful single lady, Marjorie Clarin of Palo, Leyte who started to dabble in business since she was in high school. With a savings totaling P2,000, Marjorie started to try her hands in business by making scented candles developing her own design. At the end of the Harampang, Marjorie, who has given the brand “my Konzepto” to her product lines, has made an appointment with DTI Leyte where she will be advised on how to improve her products, and where she will be connected with finance agencies which are providing funding for micro entrepreneurs. PIA-8)

Luz bared that the approved project proposals are located in the towns of Maasin, Alimodian, Cabatuan and Leon. “The counterpart funds of the NGP will be used to finance the projects, while subsequent undertakings will be coordinated with the provincial and city environment and natural resources offices in Iloilo,” Luz said. Mayor Mariano Malones, Sr. of Maasin, where three project concepts belong, said that if implemented, the projects will support the on-going undertakings in his hometown as headwater source for Metro Iloilo Water District. Luz said the projects are part of CUI's assistance to partners from local government units and national government agencies involved in environmental and disaster management, and economic development. (CUI/ESS/JCM/PIA-Iloilo)



U.S.-Philippines ties founded on friendship, says embassy official ILOILO AIRPORT

by Jaime S. Cabag, Jr. ILOILO CITY, March 2 (PIA6) -- The three-day “America in 3D” road show of the U.S. Embassy in Iloilo which formally opened March 2 at SM City-Iloilo is part of the effort to prove the close ties that bind the United States and the Philippines, according to U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Leslie Bassett. n her message, Bassett said the showcasing the vast diversity of American can work together to help make the world closeness of relationship between culture through their music, classic cars and a better place in time for the Iloilo the Americans and Filipinos is motorbikes, and food. Also lined up are roadshow which will be here until March 4. Ms. Bassett will also lead embassy founded on the friendship with one sessions on how to apply for U.S. visa and to do business and study in the United officials and join Iloilo government officials another. The statement of the U.S. Embassy States as well as basketball and soccer and private sector organizations in a series of community outreach activities including official was affirmed by Iloilo Gov. Arthur clinics, and dance workshops. The “Orient Express” band of the U.S. mangrove tree planting and school Defensor, Sr. and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog in their respective remarks Navy’s 7th Fleet will perform and belt out painting. The embassy and U.S. Navy have during the opening program that was various genres of American music during graced by other local officials and the SM City activities that will also feature also arranged a tour this weekend of the USS Chafee which is supporting the government executives, Teresa Chan of well-known Filipino musical artists. The band’s high-energy initial road show to promote U.S.-Philippine 1Meal, other embassy staff, officers from the U.S. Navy’s 7th F l e e t , performance at the opening program friendship. The road show was initiated by U.S. and representatives of partners from the delighted the audience at the mall’s activity business sector including SM Malls and center that also included members of the Amabassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr. in 2011 as a way of celebrating Filipino-American local American community. Coca Cola. The embassy also awarded the winners friendship. This is the fourth road show The America in 3D road show, wherein 3D stands for Diplomacy, of the essay writing contest it launched held in the country since then. (JCM/JSC/ Development and Defense, is aimed at here about how the US-Philippine youth PIA6)


NIA assures Aklan farmers of stable, strong irrigation facilities by Venus G. Villanueva KALIBO, Aklan, Feb. 27 (PIA6) -- Aklan farmers can expect stable and strong irrigation facilities this year with the help of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), according to Aklan governor Carlito S. Marquez.


ccording to Marquez, these include small irrigation projects, ground water pump irrigation projects, and repair and rehabilitation of the current irrigation system amounting to P57 million. Along with these, NIA is also establishing and rehabilitating river irrigation systems and communal irrigation systems amounting to P141 million. Marquez revealed that on the provincial government’s part, it has also

assisted in the repair and rehabilitation projects of the province’ irrigation system, spending P26,291,825. Of the province’ 12,193 hectares irrigable area, 66.61 percent or 8,121 hectares are already served by the NIA and by communal and pump irrigation systems. Meanwhile, in a recent meeting of the Aklan Public Information Officers Association (APIOA) here, Clarita Macahilas, Numancia LGU Information

Officer shared that Numancia and adjoining towns of Lezo and Makato will be recipients of P30 million worth of irrigation projects from NIA. The projects are seen to be implemented this year. In Numancia, bulk of the fund will be used to install water pumps for elevated ricefields which could not be accessed by the irrigation system.(JCM/VGV PIA 6 Aklan)

Japanese tourists experience 'Lagaw Silay' program by Easter Anne D. Doza BACOLOD CITY, Feb. 29 (PIA6) -- A group of Japanese toured Silay City as part of the “Lagaw Silay” program.

Lagaw Silay” ("lagaw" is a Hiligaynon word which means "to stroll") is a program of the City Government of Silay endorsed by the Department of Tourism to promote cultural heritage, ecotourism and food trips in the city, according to Silay City Mayor Jose Montelibano. The group is made up of members of the Chickyu-no Arukikata International Volunteer Tour. Their travel in Silay City is facilitated by K.I.S. International Co. Ltd – Tokyo in cooperation with IKAW-AKO Japan – Negros Partnership for Environmental Protection and Silay City Tourism Office.

‘Sayonara Silay,’ a friendship dinner was also held for the Japanese tourists for the environment at Sen. Jose C. Locsin Cultural and Civic Center on February 29. The friendship dinner featured cultural night presentation with Kabataang Silay Performing Artists and Rondalla Ensemble, and Friends of Tourism-Silay. Ver Pacete, tourism officer of Silay, said that the program includes presentation of Silay main dishes and delicacies, and ‘Learn to Dance’ time wherein Japanese visitors will be taught to dance ‘Tinikling’ and ‘Sayaw sa Bangko’. Leo Canson, IKAW-AKO Silay chairman, said that the group had forest tree

seedling planting in Silay-JICA Watershed Area in Patag, and mangrove seedling planting in Barangay Balaring. Special features are cultural interaction with the students of Don Albino and Dona Dolores Jison Integrated School, nature tour at Patag Japanese Garden, and a visit at St. Theresita’s Academy Talleres de Nazareth. Mari Kurata, IKAW-AKO tour coordinator, said that she has lined up tour operators from Japan to come to Silay bringing Japanese guests as part of ‘Lagaw Silay’ program in the future.*(JCM/EADPIA6/Silay Negros Occidental)

WESTERN VISAYAS Microinsurance puts within reach of poor

3 financial


by Jaime S. Cabag, Jr ILOILO CITY, Feb. 28 (PIA6) -- Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said the government is promoting micro-insurance as strategy to protect low income earners and the informal sector from uncertain events or risks, at a cost affordable to them.



he risks may arise from contingent events including typhoons, floods and earthquakes, said the official of the Department of Finance who was here recently with other officials of the DOF and Insurance Commission for a four-day, Feb. 21-24, Financial Literacy Roadshow and Advocacy Seminar on Microinsurance. Beltran said that the cost of a micro-insurance cover is “bite-sized,” or is affordable to the target sectors because it has lower premiums. Based on the primer from the DOF, the amount of premium or contribution per micro-insurance policy can range typically from less than P1 up to P20 per day. This means that the premium on a micro-insurance product can be as low as P30 per month. Micro-insurance is similar to the insurance as it is known and the low income earner who buys it is guaranteed of getting benefits when a contingent event takes place.

“Gusto lang naming pantayin ang access of the poor to a insurance protection with that of those who can afford to buy the expensive products offered by commercial insurance companies,” said DOF Director Jose S. Almario, who is also the Deputy Executive Director of the National Credit Council of microinsurance. Almario said the target clients of this type of insurance cover are those who earn less from the work or livelihood they are engaged in such as sari-sari store owners, farmers, fishermen, and micro entrepreneurs. Their target on the whole comprises 25 million low income Filipinos throughout the country. So far, they have covered 3 percent of their target clients since the first microinsurance policy was sold in the country. They hope to increase the count to 20 percent by the 2020. The program has been getting support

from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the form of technical assistance. “We helped introduce micro-insurance in the Philippines in our commitment to provide social protection to the poor,” said Ma. Piedad S. Geron, ADB representative at the roadshow and advocacy seminar here. Western Visayas is the fifth region in the country to have been visited by the DOF-IC-ADB team with regards to the implementation and campaign for micro-insurance. The program implementers have also been collaborating with local government units on the program. We want to make sure that the poor are protected and the involvement of LGUs in this regard is important, said Beltran. By enabling the poor to have access to micro-insurance that will reduced the risks to their lives and livelihood, we are also enabling them to participate in working for economic prosperity in the country, he added. (JCM/JSC/PIA6)

DOLE earmarks P2-M for informal sector in Capiz by Alex A. Lumaque ROXAS CITY, Capiz, Feb. 29 (PIA 6) -- The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Western Visayas has earmarked more than P2 million to provide livelihood projects in Capiz this year.


egional director Ponciano M. Ligutom said that the assistance will come in the form of livelihood starter kits, which will be made available to informal workers like farmers and fisherfolks, youth and persons with disabilities (PDWs), among others. In 2011, the DOLE released 100 sets of welding kits for the province in December which benefited 100 graduates

of Shield Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) from the Mobile Technology School (MTS) of Capiz State University (CapSU) – Roxas City main campus. The DOLE official, who was in Capiz last Feb. 23 for a consultative dialogue with program partners, also committed to promote local government units (LGUs) in Western Visayas as investment areas. “With more investments, more jobs

will be created and we do that by promoting industrial peace, providing employment facilitation and helping the LGUs in promoting the welfare of their workers,” Ligutom said. DOLE will also strengthen the Public Employment Service Offices and networks of guidance counsellors in the region to facilitate employment of jobseekers and resolve job mismatch, respectively. (JCM/ AAL/PIA 6 Capiz)

PhilHealth to ink MOA with Antique officials By Pilar S. Mabaquiao SAN JOSE, Antique Feb. 27 (PIA6) -- The Provincial and Municipal Officials of this province are set to sign a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with PhilHealth on the latter’s sponsored program for indigent families.


hilHealth and the local officials have agreed to strengthen partnership to ensure the sustainability of coverage of poor families particularly those not covered by the universal health care program of the national government. The MOA will be signed by Governor Exequiel B. Javier and 18 Municipal Mayors with Congressman Paolo S. Javier and Vice Governor Rosie Dimamay in behalf of the

Provincial Government; and Regional Vice President Dennis S. Mas for PhilHealth. Despite the many challenges that go with the implementation of 100 percent actual coverage, Sabusap said that PhilHealth is unwavering in its mission to provide Filipinos with health care insurance they can depend on when needed. During the MOA signing, which will be held on March 6 in this town,

PhilHealth will also conduct consultative forum with local officials to provide them with updates on the policy directions of the agency likewise gather feedbacks for effective implementation of the program. For this year, about 15 million indigent families are due for renewal of their coverage under the Philhealth’s sponsorship program. (JCM/PSM/PIA6 Antique)



DTI 7 conducts seminar to hasten processing of business registration, reduce red tape


By Fayette C. Riñen CEBU CITY, Feb. 29 (PIA) -- In order to hasten the processing of business registration and reduce red tape within the bureaucracy in Central Visayas, a one-day seminar-workshop on the Philippine Business Registry System (PBRS) was recently conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7. BRS is an online system aimed at registration such as the DTI, Securities the NERBAC aims to fast-track s t r e a m l i n i n g b u s i n e s s and Exchange Commission, Cooperative investment inflows and strengthen the registrations for a faster business Development Authority, Bureau of country’s business and investment climate. registration process, thus, cutting on red Internal Revenue (BIR), Social Security In Central Vsayas, the NERBAC tape and opportunities for corruption in System (SSS), Home Development Mutual consists of national government agencies the bureaucracy. Fund (Pag-IBIG), Philippine Health such as Board of Investments, DTI, Through the PBRS, business permits Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), local PhilHealth, BIR, Pag-IBIG Fund and the and business licenses applications will be government units, among others. SSS. facilitated by a centralized data entry Most of the participants to the News investors are now mandated to program that will automatically connect to seminar came from partner agencies of go to these various national government various national units and government the National Economic Research and agencies before they can secure a mayor’s agencies. Business Assistance Center (NERBAC) in permit to start their business operations. Moreover, the said integrates all Cebu. (PIA-Cebu) government agencies involved in business Created through Republic Act 7470,


Bohol cultural groups to perform in Dumaguete by Rey Anthony H. Chiu TAGBILARAN CITY, Feb. 28 (PIA) -- Two Bohol theater groups—the Antequera and Punta Cruz Cultural Collectives—were invited to perform in Silliman University in Dumaguete City for the theater festival on February 27. ntequera Cultural Collective will explained. The "Tawag sa Bantayan" is a play stage a portion of the musical "Abatan ni Tamblot" is a 45-minute that creatively threads monologues with play "Abatan ni Tamblot" while musical play that explores the unique the "Pangalay" southern dances as Punta Cruz Maribojoc Cutural Collective characteristics of Antequera town, Bohol’s choreographed by Ligaya Amilbangsa and will perform the "Tawag sa Bantayan". basket capital and one which is situated retells the story of a coastal community in Bohol theater artistic director along a river where Tamblot, a Punta Cruz that was exposed to pirates Lutgardo Labad, the director for both native Babaylan pursued by the Spanish raids. collectives, said he is excited to present soldiers held it out in a community As a threat of southern pirates ram the two plays outside Bohol. called Tampi sa Suba. into their coasts, the people of Punta Cruz “In a theater festival, this gives the The play, written by Rey Anthony joined hands to build a sturdy fortification local artists the needed exposure for Chiu and choreographed by local theater that provided them vantage points to scan outside audiences and allow them to artists, explores the musical prowess of the horizon for the coming raids and benchmark their skills with the region’s the people and neatly sews the story of armed themselves in time to repel the best,” Labad added. Tamblot, the pagan high priest and his attacks, so goes the gist of the play. Both plays were crafted to help struggles for religious freedom. Written by local playwright Reigh eco-tourism communities showcase local "Abatan ni Tamblot" is just one of Monreal, "Tawag sa Bantayan" is the main talents and possibly increase the tourism the three community plays offered to cultural performance of the collective as viability of their communities especially tourists taking the Abatan Rover an offer to tourists visiting Punta Cruz when the plays present a creative retelling Community Life Tours that brings tourists Watchtower Eco-historical destination in of history that makes people proud of its across five towns sharing the green Maribojoc town. (mbcn/rahc/PIA-Bohol) culture and heritage, Labad once Abatan River in Bohol.


Career coaching sessions lined up in Negros Oriental By Rachelle M. Nessia DUMAGUETE CITY, Feb. 29 (PIA) -- Six sessions on career and employment coaching for graduating high school and college students are set to be held in Negros Oriental in March.


he activities, coordinated by the Provincial Public Employment Service Office (PESO), aim to assist high school students choose the collegiate course that matches their skills, while helping steer the graduating college students towards the right career path. The sessions kicked off at Santiago Delmo Memorial High School in Zamboanguita on March 2, followed by Dauin National High School and Dauin Science High School in Dauin on March 12, Salngan High School and Science High School in Zamboanguita on March 14, and Decor Carmeli High School in Zamboanguita on

March 19. Among the topics to be discussed are the current labor market needs and the character traits that students need to hone, said Provincial PESO Focal Person Nanette Tindoc. DOLE representative Anita Melicor will tackle the career and employment coaching topics, while Tindoc will discuss the rights and responsibilities of children as outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The students will also be oriented on Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Human Trafficking Act for them to be aware of their

rights and keep them from becoming victims of illegal recruiters, said Tindoc. “The sessions are part of PESO’s Labor Market Information function,” she added. Tindoc is inviting other schools in the province interested in holding similar sessions to visit the Provincial PESO at the Capitol Area in Dumaguete City for scheduling. Three sessions have already been conducted earlier this year at three schools in Bagong town, namely: Holy Family High School, Ong Chee Tee High School, and San Miguel National High School. (RMN/PIA Negros Oriental)




BFP-7 assures public of genuine service By Amorganda A. Saludar

CEBU CITY Feb. 29 (PIA) -- The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) in mandate despite agency problems on fire prevention. his was the statement made by Bureau in responding to fire cases. Bisan BFP-7Assistant Regional Director og nay kakuwangon dili makuwangan ang for Operations Supt. Ismael C. among serbisyo ngadto sa mga Codilla during the recent Kapihan sa PIA katawhan (Even if we lack equipment, we Forum in preparation for Fire Prevention still strive to provide adequate service to Month in March. the public)," Codilla stressed. Some of these problems include BFP-7 has a total of 132 serviceable inadequacy of fire fighting equipment and fire trucks for the entire region, which will the number of serviceable fire trucks be divided by the four provinces. available for the entire regions. Cebu is given the biggest share with “Although we have inadequacy of fire 72 fire trucks, followed by Bohol with 34, fighting equipment, this will not cripple the Negros Oriental with 22 and Siquijor with


Central Visayas will carry out its four. Codilla added that they believe in the so-called "band aid solution" wherein damaged fire trucks will automatically be fixed and readied for use. In Cebu province alone, there are about 11 fire fighting units and nine fire substations from Cebu City, seven substations in Lapu-lapu City, including those in Olanggo Island and currently Mandaue City which added another one substation. (rmn/AS/PIA-CEBU)

Environmental measures included in PNP-Siquijor agenda by Rizalie A. Calibo SIQUIJOR, Feb. 29 (PIA) -- The Philippine National Police (PNP) here included environmental protection measures in their agenda.


NP Regional Director P/CSupt Marcelo P. Garbo Jr., during his visit to the province, said that his goal is for the agency to plant ten million trees in Central Visayas. Some 100 coconut trees were initially planted at the provincial headquarters in Caipilan, Siquijor, Siquijor, said PNP Provincial Director Ernesto F.

Agas. Barangay captains and officials of the four barangays of Siquijor town along with some students and teachers from the Siquijor Science High School and Balite Institute of Technology joined the tree planting activity. Garbo said he has spearheaded similar civic-oriented activities like mahogany

planting at the typhoon Sendong-hit areas in Negros Oriental where 250 trees were planted. They also distributed relief goods to the typhoon victims, he added. He urged other government and non-government organizations to replicate the said activities. (rmn/rac/PIASiquijor)

PIA writer joins ASEAN-India media exchange program by Rizalie A. Calibo DUMAGUETE CITY, Feb. 28 (PIA) -- A writer from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) based in Dumaguete City was one of the 20 journalists from member-countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) who participated in a media exchange program in India for a week.


achelle Nessia, Information Officer 2 and regional news editor of PIA here, was one of two journalists who represented the Philippines during the ASEAN-India Media Exchange Program this year from Feb. 11 to 17, 2012. Also from the Philippines was Lily Ramos, senior news editor of the Philippine News Agency based in Manila. The media exchange program was recently institutionalized to promote better understanding of ASEAN-India relations while improving connectivity between India and its Asian neighbors. The journalists kicked off their seven-day visit with a tour of two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, namely the 363-year old Taj Mahal and its sister monument, Agra Fort, in Agra City on Feb. 12, 2012. They also attended the Delhi Dialogue IV Summit from Feb. 13 to 14, 2012 in New Delhi, India after paying a

courtesy call on India’s External Affairs Minister Shri Khrishna. During his interaction with the ASEAN reporters, Khrishna said the Indian media is also keenly looking forward to visiting the ASEAN countries. After the courtesy call, the ASEAN journalists met with some of their Indian counterparts during a lunch interaction. On Feb. 15, the journalists flew to Bangalore, India where they listened to briefings from key officials of the Indian Institute of Science (IIS), Infosys and Biocon. IIS is the leading and oldest university in India where the country’s brightest are educated while Infosys is a global consulting and IT services company that is purely Indian-owned. The journalists also stopped by the laboratories of Biocon, a global biopharmaceutical company, where they had a brief interaction with its founder, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

The visiting reporters also toured the assembly hangar area of state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) where they design, develop, manufacture and overhaul India’s fighter and training fleets as well as doors for Airbus 320 planes. The Ministry of External Affairs sponsored this year’s media exchange visit to coincide with the Delhi Dialogue IV in partnership with the Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FICC), Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISEAS), Economic Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), and SAEA Research Group. The 20 visiting journalists are from Brunei Darussalam, Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, LAO PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Nessia finished her Bachelor’s of Mass Communication degree from Negros Oriental State University in 1997. She is also the associate editor of Dumaguete Star Informer. (rmn/RAC/PIA Siquijor)

6 EVisayas provinces AKBay fund




TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Feb. 28 (PIA) -- All six provinces of Eastern Visayas have been identified as among the 31 provinces chosen as priority recipients of the AKBay program that provides funds for the poorest households in the farming and fishing communities.


A-8 Regional Executive Director (RED) Antonio Gerundio informed that the Department of Agriculture (DA), through the National Agricultural and Fishery Council (NAFC), is providing funds for the poorest households in the farming and fishing communities in 31 priority provinces in the country through the AKBay Program. RED Gerundio said that AKBay stands for “Agrikultura: Kaagapay ng Bayang Pinoy,” a poverty-reduction program funded by the Japanese government, under the Japan Grant Assistance for the Food Security Project. The program is primarily intended for marginalized households that are engaged in farming, fishing and related livelihood based on the data provided by the provincial planning and development office. Recently, three Eastern Visayas provinces, namely Biliran, Samar and Eastern Samar, have each received the first of AKBay financial assistance amounting to P2.09 million at P10, 000 per household recipient.

Mr. Benedict E. Montera, DA-8’s AKBay Program and RAFC Coordinator said that the turnover of the second half of fund assistance amounting to P2.310 million will soon be released to complete the P4.4 million allocations for each province recipient, with additional budget for administrative expenditures. DA-8 Information Chief Francis Rosaroso said that the province recipients were identified in the government’s accelerated hunger mitigation program and in the 2006 Family Income and Expenditure Survey as having the most number of subsistence poor or food-poor families. Only the 4th, 5th and 6th class municipalities in the priority provinces are covered by the program, Mr. Rosaroso said. On the other hand, the household-beneficiaries are pre-identified in the priority provinces through the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist and the MAFC based on available credible OMA records. It is

guided by the results of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s National Household Targeting System. RED Gerundio stressed that the fund assistance given to the farm households is not a dole-out and shall be paid back. The schedule of repayment is based on the projected income statement of the project. It is expected that the farm-household will be able to return the assistance fund starting from the second to the third year after the project has started. RED Gerundio said that AKBay funds short-gestating, micro-scale, and resource-based livelihood projects in or related to agriculture and fisheries such as crop production, animal raising, aquaculture, capture fishing involving acquisition of fishing paraphernalia, acquisition of small farm implements, small scale processing and handicraft making. (EOPT-PIA-8 with RAFID8)

Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan projects goes to Eastern by Samuel D. Candido BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar, Feb. 28 (PIA) -- The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), in cooperation with government line agencies and local government units, is set to implement Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA) projects in the Province of Eastern Samar this year.


PAPP for Luzon and Visayas PAMANA Program Director Maria Eileen A. Jose disclosed this during the first Provincial Peace and Order Council recently held at the Provincial Governor’s Office Conference Hall, Capitol Building, Borongan City. PAMANA is the national government’s peace and development framework to respond and strengthen peace building, reconstruction and development in conflict-affected areas.

According to Jose, the program is aimed towards bringing all armed conflict to permanent closure through peaceful means, while looking into the root causes of conflict. Director Jose further added that for the year 2012, Samar Island, which includes Eastern Samar, is one of the target beneficiaries of the PAMANA with identified municipalities Maslog and Jipapad. The OPAPP is committing P20-million

fund assistance for priority development projects through the Department of Interior and Local Government and another P3-million worth of projects through the Department of Social Welfare and Development. According to Ms. Candelaria A. Badillo, local government operations officer-V, the Province of Eastern Samar has committed already P5 million as a counterpart to the program. (PIA-Eastern Samar)

Biliran aims to become a rabies-free province by Rodrigo S. Victoria NAVAL, Biliran, Feb. 28 -- The provincial veterinarian in Biliran province revealed in a recent meeting of the Biliran Provincial Rabies Prevention and Control Committee (PRPCC) that the province of Biliran is now aiming to become a rabies-free province this year. r. Suzette V. Apura, provincial and the “Bantay Rabies sa Barangay” in representatives from the regional and veterinarian at the Biliran Biliran. It was learned that the island central offices of DOH and from the provincial veterinary office said municipality of Maripipi will be separately Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) can that the province may qualify to become a declared as a rabies-free town. already visit Biliran province for the rabies-free province since there were no Biliran province will also submit 30 evaluation either in the month of June or reported positive cases of rabies in both samples of dog heads that bite a person to July this year. human and animal in the province for the the regional office of the Department of Meanwhile, the launching of the rabies last three consecutive years in Biliran from Health as one of the requirements, Apura awareness month next month which will 2009 to 2011. added. be held in the municipality of Culaba on She said that other necessary She told the members of the Biliran March 2 is anchored on the theme: requirements include the reactivation of PRPCC that if all the requirements are “Working Together for a Rabies-Free the Municipal Rabies Prevention and already intact and ready in May, then Philippines: Register and Vaccinate”. (PIAControl Committee in the seven towns the evaluating team composed of Biliran)





People from Calbayog can now fly to nearby Visayan destinations starting March 5

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, March 1 (PIA) -- Calbayog folks may now choose between sea and air transport to bring them to Cebu City.


ith the first Cebu-Calbayog flight from Cebu to Calbayog and vice versa, Calbayognons and other Samarnons may now enjoy air travel with the first Eagle Trans Asia Airways (ETA) flight via a 29- seater aircraft on March 5, 2012. In a press conference held on Thursday at Ciriaco Hotel and Resort, Calbayog City, Philippine Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Bienvenido V. Tejano said that the island of Samar should be given a chance to be at par with other provinces in the country. He said that the province is one of the most underprivileged areas in the country. In order to change the impression, the transport sector should be improved and

new investments must come in, he said. The Ambassador also said that he is encouraging local businessmen to invest in air transport that usher domestic flights in the region and make Cebu as the commercial hub instead of Manila. “We are not here really to make money because it is very elusive at this point in time. This is just the beginning of the project and I know we are going to face more challenges,” said Tejano. Aware of the “big time” airline competitors, he assured that ETA Airways would do well by bringing and promoting the region’s own resources to domestic and foreign tourists. ETA Corporation has set up an office here servicing flights for Calbayog to Cebu

and Tacloban City with an approximate time of 25 and 15 minutes, respectively. Target markets are government agencies, corporations, cargo consolidators, freight forwarders, travel agencies, wholesale tour operators, students studying in Cebu or those who will be attending conferences and seminars. In addition, Tejano announced that he is pushing for the establishment of a flying school either in Catarman, Northern Samar or in Calbayog City. Its purpose is to unfasten the doors for younger generations to study aeronautics in a flying school strategically located in Samar, and fulfilling the high demand of Filipino pilots competing globally, clarified Tejano. (PIA-Samar)

Pink beach in N. Samar: It's really more fun in the Philippines by Aurora J. Casimpan TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, March 1 (PIA) -- Nature’s way of advertising its beauty has manifested in the pink beach in the island town of San Vicente in Northern Samar.


he pink beach is drawing tourists to the island town which made the local government unit (LGU) decide to build facilities for tourists. The pink beach is being eyed as a tourism asset and as growth drive for the local economy. San Vicente town, which can be reached from the Northern Samar mainland through a two-hour motorboat ride from San Isidro town is the only town in Eastern Visayas with an island village endowed with pink sand. The town is a sixth-class municipality with about 1,200 households. Mayor Carlito Dalac said during the provincial development council meeting that

the LGU will develop the local tourism industry by building a small accommodation facility costing P500,000. The provision of the accommodation facility will prompt tourists to extend their stay in the island. Meantime, there is the home stay program or tourists, or tourists and visitors may put up tents for an overnight stay. San Vicente is composed of the seven islands of Sila, Tarnate, Sangputan, Panganoron, Maragat, Mahaba, and Descatado. While the town proper is located in Destacado island, the proposed accommodation facility will rise in Brgy. Sila as the pink beach is located in the said barangay.

Other than the pink beach in Sila island, the neighboring islands of Panganoron, Tarnate, Sangputan, Maragat, and Mahaba boasts of white sand beaches which are added tourism assets of the island town. Mayor Dalac said that they will be preparing for the coming visitors and for investors to regulate activities as people have been getting souvenirs of pink sand. The Department of Tourism in Eastern Visayas said that the natural undiscovered beauty is also best for diving, snorkeling, fishing, water sports, pearl farm tour, and island hopping. (PIA-8)

SoLeyte gov, solon to support elimination of deadly crown-of-thorns by Rebecca S. Cadavos SAN ROQUE, Macrohon, So. Leyte March 1 (PIA) -- In a launching ceremony of the Sogod Bay Sustainable Marine Management Alliance (SBSMMA), an alliance of 11 municipalities to protect the marine environment, the provincial government through Governor Damian G. Mercado vowed to support the reported outbreak of crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) along the sea shores of Sogod Bay.


he governor said that they had purchased 30 crown-of-thorns gun which will be used to kill the killer starfishes, locally known as “Dap-ag.” “Proper management of coastal areas is very important, and with the help of the different stakeholders who are present in this gathering, I encourage you to actively participate in this alliance to protect not only the Sogod Bay, but the marine resources throughout the province,” Gov. Mercado in his message with the member-municipalities of the Sogod Bay alliance, like the municipality of Padre Burgos, Limasawa, Malitbog, Tomas Oppus,

Bontoc, Sogod, Libagon, Liloan, San Francisco, San Ricardo, and Pintuyan. He added that, “there’s no reason why we can’t solve the recently reported COTS outbreak,” saying that with the unified efforts of each agency concerned, and the GIZ that fully supported the programs of the provincial government. “Each one of us should show concern about the COTS situation,” the governor stated, referring to the threat of tourism industry in the province. On the other hand, Coastal Fisheries Resource and Management Office Head Eva Abad said that the Lone District Solon Cong. Roger G. Mercado will also assist the alliance

commtting at least P300,000 from his coffers. She said that COTS are already monitored in the municipalities of Limasawa, Pintuyan, and in Padre Burgos COTS with scientific name of Ancanthaster Planci (shown below) is a large nocturnal sarfish reaching to 60 cm in diameter with an average of 17 arms and numerous sharp and poisonous thorns and could be found two to 20 meters, and sometimes deeper, it was learned. It feeds on living corals and can destroy an entire reef if there is a mass manifestation, Abad said.(PIA-Southern Leyte)

One Visayas e‐newsletter is published weekly by the Visayas Regional Cluster of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) comprising Region 6, 7 and 8. Its main editorial office is located at PIA Region 6, Iloilo City.   One Visayas e‐newsletter is part of the online news and information dissemination services of PIA and is powered by For inquiries and suggestions, call Tel. Nos. (033) 3378718/3377301 or e‐mail     Ms. Minerva BC Newman Regional Director, PIA 7

Editorial Consultants Atty. Ma. Janet C. Mesa, Ph. D. Regional Director, PIA6

Ms. Erlinda Olivia P. Tiu Regional Director, PIA8

Managing Editor Jaime S. Cabag, Jr. Contributors All PIA Information Officers of Regions 6, 7 & 8 Production and Layout Edson J. Bañares Lynnor C. Regalado Regional Offices:

PIA 6, 2/F RC Building, Rizal St., Iloilo City, Iloilo 5000, Tel. Nos. (033) 337-8719/3377301/509-0993, Fax No. (033) 337-8719/509-0993, e-mail: PIA 7, Room 304, 3/F Machay Bldg., Garardo Avenue, Cebu City, Cebu 6000, Telefax No. (032) 232-4062/232-4126, e-mail: PIA 8, Children’s Park Compound, Sen. Enage St., Tacloban City, Leyte 6500, Tel. No. (053) 325-5124, Telefax No. (053) 321-2029, e-mail:

One Visayas Vol 2 Issue 9  


One Visayas Vol 2 Issue 9